Foreign bodies in the aerodigestive tract: time for comprehensive preventive measures


Background: Foreign body (FB) in the aerodigestive tract presents more commonly in children and remains a surgical emergency with potential for fatal complications. Objectives: To describe management and outcomes of aerodigestive FB managed at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) and proffer preventive measures. Methods: A 9-year retrospective review of all patients with foreign body in the aerodigestive tract managed between March 2011 and July 2020. Results: Sixty-six patients were studied. Median age was 9years with M:F ratio =1.6:1. FB was ingested in 38(57.6%) patients, aspira tion occurred in 28(42.4%). Denture was most common FB 20(30.3%); plastic whistle/valve placed in dolls or football accounted for 4(6.1%). When ingested, FB was impacted in cervical 17(44.7%), upper thoracic 10(26.3%) and middle thoracic 2(5.3%) oesophagus. Oesophagoscopy was used in 30(8.9%) for retrieval. When aspirated, FB was located in the right bronchus 10(35.7%), left bronchus 7(25.0%), hypopharynx and trachea 2(7.1%) each, and cricopharynx 1(3.5%); no FB was found in 3(10.7%) patients. Direct Laryngos copy was the method of retrieval in 3(10.1%) patients while others had rigid bronchoscopy. Mortality rate was 1.5%. Conclusion: Children are most vulnerable group. Preventive effort should include public health education and close monitoring of children by parents and care givers during play.



Foreign body, Aspiration, Ingestion, Aerodigestive tract, Impaction


Adeoye, P. O., Afolabi, O. A., Omokanye, H. K., Olaoye, I., Akanbi, O. R., Segun-Busari, S., ... & Abdulkadir, M.B. (2022). Foreign bodies in the aerodigestive tract: time for comprehensive preventive measures. African Health Sciences, 22(2), 369-376